Amarnath Tragedy: Rescue Ops On, Yatra Remains Suspended

| Updated: 10 July, 2022 6:04 pm IST

SRINAGAR: The Amarnath Yatra remained suspended as the rescue operations were still going on to locate missing pilgrims. On Friday evening, a flash flood following a cloudburst washed away a base camp near the Amarnath cave leading to the death of 16 yatris while more than 40 people were injured.

The Amarnath Yatra has been temporarily suspended and it may resume only after 1-2 days, the officials said. “The pilgrims are waiting at the Baltal base camp for the yatra to resume. As the route to Amarnath Cave was damaged, it will take some time to repair the track and resume yatra,” officials added.

The Indian Air Force said it deployed eight helicopters as part of the rescue and relief operations. The road from the Army’s helicopter base to the Baltal base camp continues to reverberate with ambulance sirens and the whirling of helicopters as the choppers rushed the injured from the higher reaches to the base camp while the ambulances ferried them to Base Hospital.

“Many are still trapped in debris as rescue operations continued on Sunday,” officials said, adding that senior officers of different security agencies and government officials are monitoring the situation.

Officials here said that the four IAF Mi-17V5 and four Cheetal helicopters were deployed for rescue and relief efforts at the Amarnath shrine. “The Cheetal helicopters flew 45 sorties, carrying NDRF and Army personnel and 3.5 tonnes of relief material while evacuating 45 survivors from the holy cave,” an IAF spokesperson said.

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“The Mi-17V5 helicopters flew 20 sorties, delivered 9.5 tonnes of relief material and evacuated 64 survivors,” the official said, adding the choppers brought back seven mortal remains from the area. “An-32 transport aircraft and a Dornier plane are also being utilised to airlift hand-held radar equipment from Imphal to Srinagar.”

On Saturday evening, Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant-Governor Manoj Sinha chaired a high-level meeting to review the ongoing rescue and relief operations at the Amarnath cave. A two-minute silence was also observed during the meeting to pay tribute to devotees who lost their lives in the incident.

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